Axxel dashed through the constantly shifting vegetations of the Savage World (more like an island), occasionally dodging lethal slashes and tails whips from cyber-claws as hot as the sun, and metallic tails stronger than carbon steel.
The Ancient ruler of the Earth, Dinosaurs, wouldn’t relent.
Luckily, if there was one thing Axxel learned during his time in the Speed Force - it was that everything was out to eat you alive, take you home for their kids to eat you alive, or just plain trying to make fun of you.
Yes – some of the creatures had grown to become jokers during their time in the Speed Force. Of course, Axxel never found their actions that funny.
How long had it been since he found himself trapped? Axxel couldn’t be sure.
‘Time works differently on the inside.’ Axxel mused, considering parallels between his situation and his brief stints in prison in his past life.
Very much, in some ways, The Speed Force was akin to prison – a long enough sentence and you would eventually stop counting the days until you saw your family again. This was made worse by the fact that Axxel had no family to speak of.
In the end, he was forced to wait for a surprise release that would probably never come. The Speed Force had a way of sobering the forgetful mind, and Axxel found himself on the move more and more.
There was a sensation of freedom that came from being trapped inside The Speed Force, and as that sensation grew more and more potent, Axxel finally realized what it was – TERROR!
Axxel had lost all sense of what the word ‘terror’ even meant.
Not only did time have no meaning in Savage World, but the island also had no seasons, there were no changes, and the infinite resources available had no uses in a world divorced from human values.
There was no day nor night.
Death was for the truly stupid, and only if they were lucky enough to wander into places that shifted constantly with the terrain. Yet, despite all these stagnations, the island was incomparably beautiful.
Every day felt luckier than the next, even as the terror grew.
A whole new world filled with wonders that stemmed not across centuries, but the entire timeline – multiple timelines and universes at that! Actually, now that he was here, Axxel wasn’t sure where The Speed Force met its limits.
How far could it actually go?
It was only recently, with great guidance and an abundance of wiki knowledge, that Axxel figured out how things really ended up in Savage World – every unstable fissure in the fabric of spacetime would send chunks of infinite landmasses swirling into the unknown of dimensional gaps.
Every so often, those dimensional gaps would split and collapse in on themselves, generating enough energy to access The Speed Force. It was mindboggling sometimes to consider that The Speed Force held a Universe of its own.
Axxel had all intentions to fill it.
Silence descended, and Axxel knew something was coming.
“Duck!” Jules yelled, her long dirty blonde fluttering in the wind.
Axxel rolled just in time to avoid an untimely demise at the sharp ends of a blade of grass. Everything was lethal inside the Speed Force – literally, everything. The plants were by far the most annoying thing, they would strike when Axxel least expected it.
In some ways, the vegetation was even more terrifying than the hundreds of dinosaurs running around – many with nuclear capabilities. Axxel glanced to his right and couldn’t help but admire Jules.
Jules had a certain intensity that attracted him from the very first moment he saw her. Though, a lot of the attraction had to do with the fact that she had become his sponsor in this new Speed Force Society.
Her beauty was only matched by her equally vulgar nature. Jules gave off the impression of a princess of purity whose mouth couldn’t help but give everyone an instant heart attack.
Still, while Axxel was at his lowest point, severely injured after the defeat of the Velociraptors, Jules was the one that dragged him away from what would have been certain death.
And for no other reason than – in Jules’s own words – you looked kind of cute.
“We should go hyper…” Axxel swerved between trees with ease, but still not with as much ease as Jules next to him.
“Just a bit more ahead and we can go hyper… we need a direct line of sight,” Jules was panicked, desperately trying to hold herself steady.
It was a bad day, especially considering which beast was chasing them - the motherfucking Ancient terror of The Savage World – The Minitour.
Jules missed the days when her biggest problem was what to do with the eternity she had in The Savage World, but ever since Axxel came along, she had to worry about staying alive almost every single day.
Of course, this was also welcomed – a bit of excitement never hurt anyone.
Axxel was singlehandedly responsible for pushing the expedition to its limit, allowing the death toll to rise by 100%, but at the very least, everyone who died did so with smiles on their faces.
Everyone was rediscovering a sense of excitement that was once lost.
A beastly roar, that sounded a lot like puking, shook the trees behind Axxel and Jules. Without the need for conscious thought, they both slid their feet against the ground, activating the promethium-forged footwear they so treasured.
It was one of the few things inside The Speed Force that kept its value even without a consumer base. The footwear pulsed with kinetic energy drawn from the atmosphere, and Jules and Axxel became a blur.
Promethium was a somewhat abundant natural resource in Savage World – if one could survive recovering the metal - and since it could harness kinetic energy from the Speed Force, it became the most precious metal by far.
Well, not the most previous, but infinitely close.
But… the massive Minitour chasing the duo also had a trick up its sleeves… or, more specifically, atop its gleaming metallic horns and large metallic hoofs. The hulking beast dragged its horns on the ground causing a surge of kinetic energy to ripple outwards.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the monstrosity also dragged its hoof against the ground, and suddenly, Jules and Axxel were facing down a creature with twice the amount of Promethium that they had.
The creature similarly became a blur – a faster blur.
‘Fuck!’ Axxel cursed internally, not daring to open his mouth at superspeeds since something unexpected could find its way inside.
At his current speed, a stray bug may as well be a baseball into the back of the throat. It had happened before. This was the one downside of Promethium – it was basically artificial speed that could make your feet move fast, but it did jack squat for the rest of your body.
Your perception would remain the same, so you could find yourself embedded inside a rock before your brain could process there was a rock in the first place. Maybe even worse, Axxel had watched members of the group die from tripping over a tree branch, and their bodies scattered in all different directions due to the momentum.
Death by tree branch was a rough way to go.
Thankfully, most of the people who survived today were professionals at running beyond their zone. Savage World was able to halt the progression of time, but it did nothing for death – after all, eternal did not mean invulnerable.
Axxel and Jules could feel the ground shaking beneath their feet, so they knew the Minitour was directly behind them. The other dinosaurs were probably just a split second behind the Minitour as well.
Axxel and Jules could not make sudden sharp turns at the speed they were moving, so when the next ground-shattering step of the Minitour shook everything, Jules finally lost her balance.
The Promethium footwear that fueled her speed shattered, and just as she was about to collide headfirst with a rock, Axxel made a sharp turn and managed to scoop her up. But, of course, that rescue came at a price.
While his body could handle such sharp turns, the momentum after the fact would not be so lenient. The moment Jules was in his arms, Axxel cradled her body as his back collided with the rock, skipped across the ground, collided with some pitiful trees that were no less dense than the rock, and finally, the momentum carried him off a cliff.
The world in Axxel’s and Jules’ perceptions slowed like one of those moments just before death. As they floated in the air, about to fall to their inevitable demise, the Minitour appeared like a ghost.
And, of course, the Minitour was not alone – hundreds of dinosaurs, from Velociraptors to Cyber-Tetradactylies, chose this moment to strike. The creatures of Savage World were like a wave, opening their maws wide to take a chunk out of Axxel and Jules.
One had to know, humans in the Savage World were a delicacy to these creatures. Luckily, Jules was not a flower vase that needed Axxel’s protection – she gave as much as she received.
“Now!” Jules yelled, slapping the round metal of her belt buckle.
Gone was the damsel in distress only capable of flailing in Axxel’s arms. A blue barrier flashed to life, shielding both her and Axxel from the hundreds of hungry creatures that wanted to take a bite out of their goods.
“Light 'em up, boys.” A gruff voice echoed from seemingly thin air, but it was not thin air.
The entire terrain glitched and what was once a cliff quickly faded to reveal a barren field with a steep slope. Obviously, the previous terrain was an illusion.
The entire area was bombarded with photon beams, shrapnel grenades, ion cannons, lead cannons, gunpowder, TNT, and even exploding slugs. This was perhaps the only place in existence where someone could see medieval technology being used alongside futuristic technology. On Savage World, weapons were timeless creations.
Sadly, Axxel and Jules were not left unscathed, but they somehow managed to persevere with the shield protecting their bodies. Each shockwave from the bombardment shifted their organs a bit, but they somehow managed.
When the bombardment came to an end, the shield flickered and finally died. A slight tear could be seen from Jules's eyes since that was the most valuable tech she had on her person.
Still, it was nothing compared to the resources they would acquire after searching the Minitours’ cave.
“You guys alive?” The gruff voice inquired, drawing closer to their location ever so cautiously/
“Did you want to kill us, Thomas?” Axxel joked, ignoring the pain that came with multiple broken bones.
“He needs a Med-Pack.” Jules ordered, cradling Axxel in her arms as they lay on the ground exhausted “And a new mech-extension.” she added, noticing his metallic foot was damaged.
Try as she may to recover Axxel’s foot, none of the technology Jules possessed was able to complete the feat. Axxel sighed, enjoying Jules’ embrace, but also feeling a bit reluctant “We need to stop wasting resources to fix my foot… I can work fine without it!” he argued.
Jules did not argue, she simply pulled him closer to her body, using such force that Axxel was sure she would combine their bodies if she could. There was a certain desperation that could be felt in her embrace.
“Boss, maybe we can just save the resour-”
“Thomas.” Jules growled unconsciously “Get the tech to fix his foot… I won’t repeat myself again.”
Thomas shot a vicious glare at Axxel, and then commanded several men retrieving the burnt corpses of the creatures to follow him. It would take some time to extract the dinosaur’s spinal fluid to fill the cradle.
Axxel looked at Thomas’s fading back and sighed. “You are treating your men a bit too roughly… they probably think I changed you or something… you may need to get rid of him.”
“If it came to a choice to get rid of him or you… I would get rid of you in a heartbeat.” Jules said decisively, and Axxel was not surprised by her statement. “We have been on Savage World when you were in diapers… if it took this much to get between us, we would not have survived this long.”
“He still loves you.” Axxel whispered, knowing his statement would make no difference.
“I never believed in love at first sight.” Jules replied, brushing her chaotic blonde hair away from her face. “When I saw you wash up on that shore, the wall inside me cracked, and I knew you were bad news… so when Thomas wanted to save you, I ordered all my men to stay and watch… we watched as you crawled and then stood… facing five Velociraptors to survive… even when we expected you to die, I ordered them not to help… I wanted you to die because I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist if you didn’t.”
“What changed then?” Axxel inquired, a bit surprised that she had witnessed the entire fight, but only came to his aid at the end.
Jules rose from the ground and placed Axxel in a bridal carry. “You survived.” she replied, gazing at the horizon as she carried him back to camp. “I figured if you were gonna survive when you should have died, then I could give this relationship thing a chance.”
“Is this like a confession?” Axxel joked.
“You’re my spoils from an expedition. I don’t need to confess to something I own.” she justified lazily, but her heartbeat was not nearly as nonchalant.
The rest of the journey back to camp was made in silence.
Back with a new chapter for your viewing pleasure.
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